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TECHNOLOGY Catch up with the latest developments in sports production

“Producing content, both video and graphics, in the highest quality possible provides great flexibility for the future, even though it might not be needed today.” PETTER OLE JAKOBSEN P22

PLUS NEWS OPINION ANALYSIS HE AD-TO-HE AD REVIEWS COM MUNIT Y CAREERS EVENTS PRODUCTS

REVIEW Abu Dhabi Media Summit number four at a glance

VIA-TALSIGNS

THE PROGNOSIS IS GOOD FOR PRODUCTION IN THE REGION SAYS VIACOM REGIONAL EVP RAFFAELE ANNECCHINO An ITP Business Publication

Vol. 15 Issue 11 November 2013


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CONTENTS

NOVEMBER 2013 5 UPDATE ALARAB TECH SPECS ANNOUNCED/ MBC BOLLYWOOD LAUNCHES/ KISMET PREMIER ANNOUNCED/48 HOUR FILM PROJECT RETURNS/CALREC FOR LEBANESE OB VAN/NOMAD WINS SPORTS NEWS GIG/ AL KAABI CONTENT CALL/SAUDI RATINGS TEASER/COMEDY CENTRAL ME IMMINENT?/TVU OFFERS SOCHI BARGAINS/ TGM PRODUCES KING CUP/CANON SHOWS OFF C300 RUSHES/ MUSING OVER 4K/ DMTV MAKES LOCAL ADAPTATION

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26 THE 2013 VIA CREW Viacom is looking to up its presence in the region, and that could mean more production and more channels too.

16 NEWS ANALYSIS THE ARAB YOUTH IS FEELING GOOD, CLAIMS NEW SURVEY 18 CHANNEL WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE CHANNEL? 49 COMMUNITY ALL THE LATEST GOINGS ON FROM THE PRODUCTION AND BROADCAST COMMUNITIES 53 PRODUCTS OUR PICK OF THE LATEST PRODUCT LAUNCHES

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24 MY STUDIO We cast our minds back to UBMS’ installation of a fully functioning news studio at Sony’s regional education event.

38 16 56

32 SUMMIT’S GOING ON The Abu Dhabi Media Summit brought out the usual big hitters to discuss the burning media issues of the day. 38 A SPORTING CHANCE Check out our round up of the very latest developments in sports production. From 4K to graphics, and an eerily absent 3D, it’s all right here in your favourite monthly read.

NOVEMBER 2013 / 1


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Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 444 3000, Fax: +971 4 444 3030 Web: www.itp.com Offices in Dubai & London ITP BUSINESS PUBLISHING CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director Karam Awad Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell Editorial Director David Ingham EDITORIAL Editor Chris Newbould Tel: +971 4 444 3596 email: chris.newbould@itp.com ADVERTISING Sales Director Peter Davis Tel: +971 4 444 3741 email: peter.davis@itp.com Sales Manager Napoleon Estampador Tel: +971 4 444 3381 email: napoleon.estampador@itp.com Japan Representative Mikio Tsuchiya Tel: +81 354 568230 email: ua9m-tcy@asahi-net.or.jp STUDIO Head of Design Daniel Prescott Principal Creative Simon Cobon Designer Aaron Sutton PHOTOGRAPHY Chief Photographer Jovana Obradovic Senior Photographers Isidora Bojovic, Efraim Evidor Staff Photographers Lester Apuntar, George Dipin, Juliet Dunne, Murrindie Frew, Verko Ignjatovic, Shruti Jagdesh, Mosh Lafuente, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith Deputy Production Manager Nelly Pereira Production Co-ordinator Gijo Thomas Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Senior Image Editor Emmalyn Robles Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami CIRCULATION Head of Circulation and Database Gaurav Gulati MARKETING Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Events Manager Michelle Meyrick ITP DIGITAL Digital Publishing Director Ahmad Bashour Tel: +971 4 444 3549 email: ahmad.bashour@itp.com Sales Manager, B2B Digital Riad Raad Tel: +971 4 444 3319 email: riad.raad@itp.com ITP GROUP Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies Board of Directors K.M. Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 444 3000

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UPDATE

10 ONLINE 16 ANALYSIS 18 CHANNEL THIS MONTH IN THE TV AND FILM PRODUCTION INDUSTRY

22 GUEST COLUMN

Prince Alwaleed’s new 24/7 news channel is getting into gear.

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT...

ALARAB DRAWS EVER CLOSER Prince Alwaleed’s eagerly-anticipated new 24-hour news channel took a step closer to reality this month when Qvest was appointed to design and build its new Manama HQ. www.digitalproductionme.com

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, chairman of Rotana Group, and the owner of Alarab News Channel has appointed Qvest Media to design and build complete production and broadcasting infrastructure for Alarab News Channel location in Manama, Bahrain. Thomas Müller, GM of Qvest Media, said: “About eight months ago we tendered a bid for this very demanding project. Now that we have been awarded the contract, we are very happy that the project concept we CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

NOVEMBER 2013 / 5


NEWS UPDATE

ARABIC TV NEWS – KEY DATES

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 developed for the tender will now be realized.” Jamal Khashoggi, GM and editor in chief of Alarab News, added: “As an independent regional broadcaster, Alarab will offer its audiences a unique and upto-the-second program of news as well as innovative news formats of its own.” QVest will be installing end-to-end file-based workflows, a high level of automation for all production processes and a centralized media asset management system across all areas of production, as well as HDTV distribution for satellite and multi-platform live streaming and VOD. The integrator will be responsible for the entire technical implementation and integration of three studios with interconnected control rooms. This includes state-of-the-art robotic and manual camera systems and sound technology, as well as the latest technologies for infrastructure monitoring, editing, graphics and editorial processes. The fully-integrated production and broadcasting platform will be equipped with the latest generation of scalable Avid ISIS, Avid Interplay and iNews. Real-time 3D graphics rendering and channel branding will be performed using the latest Vizrt platform. With the optimized newscast automation systems of Mosart, Alarab will be able to ensure highest quality across all newsroom-related processes. Thus, the entire newsroom workflow – e.g. sound processing, video mixing, on-air graphics overlay and even camera tracking – will be remote-controlled by the automation using preconfigured templates.

6 / NOVEMBER 2013

1996: Al Jazeera: Following a $500M loan from the Emir of Qatar, Al Jazeera burst on to screens on November 1st. It would shock many in its first days on air – presenting Israelis speaking Hebrew on Arab TV for the first time, attracting bans and jamming from governments around the region (as it still does) and famously being dubbed by the normally rational George W Bush as ‘Al Qaeda TV.’ 2003: Al Arabiya: Launched as a counter to Al Jazeera, the channel still lags behind in the ratings despite some coups including bagging Barak Obama’s first formal interview as US president in 2009 and publishing the leaked emails of Bashar Al Assad in 2012. 2008: BBC Arabic relaunches: The BBC’s entry to the Arabic market was something of a latecomer, although the BBC tried an Arabic TV news channel in the 90s, but the trial was deemed unsuccessful. Many of its staff left to form Al Jazeera, which the BBC now ironically finds itself trying to catch up as the market leader. 2012: Sky News Arabia: The new kid on the block (at least until Alarab goes live) is a 50/50 joint venture between BSkyB and the Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation. Sky News Arabia claims a commitment to independent reporting, and a six-person editorial advisory committee exercises oversight over the network’s editorial output.

Turkish soaps like A Night of June have met with global success.

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NEWS UPDATE

The MBC Bollywood launch was a right old song and dance.

NEW MBC BOLLYWOOD CHANNEL SURPRISE CHANNEL LAUNCH

The first live episode of the Arab world’s #1 talent show, Arabs Got Talent, kicked off season 3 with eight acts on MBC4 and MBC MASR last month. However, the biggest surprise of the evening was the secret, official, live launch of the all-new MBC Bollywood Channel through a dazzling performance of one of India’s most loved and multi-talented actresses Karina Kapoor, supported by her dancers. At a press conference following the show, MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek said, “MBC Bollywood bears all “Bollywood” features in all aspects of its glitz and glamour. The channel promises to dazzle the hearts of every Arab family through its wide and rich array of the biggest Asian and Indian cinematic and TV productions which will be subtitled and dubbed into Arabic. Moreover, the channel will also be home to a variety of shows focusing on the lives of all Bollywood actors and actresses and will also feature the biggest Indian, regional and global film festivals.” Hayek concluded: “Through the extensive and rich content that MBC Bollywood will offer, we are hoping to cater to the needs of all our young and vibrant audience, while also offering the best in Bollywood entertainment to the entire Arab family in general.” NEWSMAKER

KISMET TO PREMIERE IN AMSTERDAM Kismet, Veritas Films’ documentary about the power of Turkish soap operas, will have its world premiere competing in the midlength category of the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam in November 2013. Veritas Films co-produced the film in its UAE section which features scenes and characters in Abu Dhabi and Ras al Khaimah. Kismet features unprecedented

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access to the Turkish soap opera industry’s most glamorous actors and creative talent, including the lead actors of Noor, Fatmagul, Magnificent Century, Thousand and One Nights, and more. The film explores how these TV series have conquered the hearts of millions of viewers in the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans, South America and Asia, transcending religion and culture.

The film is directed by NinaMaria Paschalidou and produced by Forest Troop and Anemon Productions, in coproduction with Al Jazeera and ARTE, and in association with SVT, Knowledge Network, YLE, RTS, Channel 8, BTV, MRT and CYBC and with the support of the Media Programme of the EU, and the Croatian and Bulgarian Film Centres.

NOVEMBER 2013 / 7


NEWS UPDATE

RUSHES

48-HOUR FILM FEST RETURNS THE 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT COMES TO DUBAI ONCE AGAIN ON THE WEEKEND OF 7 - 9 NOVEMBER 2013. FILMMAKERS FROM ALL OVER THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES WILL COMPETE TO SEE WHO CAN MAKE THE BEST SHORT FILM IN ONLY 48 HOURS. THE WINNING FILM WILL GO UP AGAINST FILMS FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD. TEAM ENTRY COSTS 735 AED ON A FIRSTCOME-FIRST-SERVED BASIS. TEAMS WILL THEN GATHER ON

CALREC CONSOLE FOR LEBANESE OB HD VAN INSTALLS LATEST CALREC GEAR

Calrec Audio has sold its first console in Lebanon to Beirut-based production company Hedgehog for use in the country’s first high-definition outside broadcast (OB) truck. An Artemis Light console was installed into Hedgehog’s first OB truck to complement the HD video with high-quality audio for all its mobile TV production projects, including live television shows, sports, and entertainment events - many for broadcasting giant MBC. “Not only do we have Lebanon’s first HD OB truck, but it is also the first OB truck in Lebanon to have this degree of audio power. Calrec was an obvious choice because it has a long, successful history in OB trucks,” said Hedgehog CEO and managing director George Moufarrej. “From front to back, cameras to servers, the truck is equipped with the most advanced gear, and the audio system is no different. Based on the latest trends in the business, we’ll likely be working on live talent shows or pure singing competitions such as ‘The Voice’ and ‘Arab Idol,’ where the audio system is of utmost importance. That’s why we turned to Calrec. Calrec gives us immense power and scalability with full redundancy on every critical component of the system.”

NOMAD WINS SPORTS GIG EARLY START AT FIFA U-17S

UAE-based Nomad Productions has taken over the MENA region video sports news gathering contract for multi-platform sports news service, Omnisport. Under the contract, Nomad will provide Omnisport with breaking sports news, exclusive interviews and features from across MENA. Omnisport then supplies sports news coverage to over 150 broadcasters and digital publishers worldwide for TV, online and mobile services. Phil Griffiths, Nomad Productions director, said: “We are excited to be working with Omnisport, a service that is making a huge impact on global sports news distribution.”

Inside Hedgehog’s new toy.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH AT SPONSORS ADVANCED MEDIA TRADING IN AL-QUOZ, WHERE THEY WILL BE GIVEN A GENRE, A CHARACTER, A PROP, AND A LINE OF DIALOGUE THEY MUST WORK INTO THEIR FILM. FILMS SUBMITTED EVEN ONE MINUTE AFTER 7:00PM ON NOVEMBER 9TH WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

8 / NOVEMBER 2013

AL KAABI CALLS FOR ARAB I.D. MORE ARAB CONTENT CALL

Speaking at MIPCOM, twofour54 CEO Nora Al Kaabi has called for more relevant Arabic TV: “We are open to different cultures and our media industry is growing rapidly. There are more than 300 million Arabic speakers eager for content that reflects Arab identity and culture and that matches the quality of content that can be found on international channels,” she told delegates.

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NEWS UPDATE

ONLINE

Emirates Media Measurement Company’s Chris O’Hearn.

1 Zee launches Arabic language channel 2 MBC Bollywood launches during Arabs Got Talent 3 Al Waleed confirms Alarab tech specs 4 Zee Alwan expands dubbed Arabic content 5 Digital Studio digital edition 6 4K: Bane or blessing? 7 Digital Broadcast digital edition 8 Sound and Stage digital edition 9 Shilpa Shetty makes production debut 10 Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2013 details announced SPOT POLL FILM FESTIVAL SEASON’S HERE. WHICH ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST?

84.7%

Dubai International Film Festival

14.3%

Abu Dhabi International Film Festival

0.0%

Muscat International/ Gulf/Doha Ajyal/Doha Oumra Film Festival

10 / NOVEMBER 2013

SAUDI RATINGS WITHIN YEAR? UAE SEEN AS REGIONAL ‘PILOT’

Speaking at the launch of TView’s annual results, GM Chris O’Hearn has suggested that Saudi Arabia could be online with a similar project in as little as 12 months. Responding to the ongoing debate about if and when KSA may finally begin monitoring viewing habits, O’Hearn commented: “We have good contacts with a consortium in Saudi that is putting together a similar project. Rotana are involved alongside advertisers offering support in the same way as our shareholders have here in the UAE. I think the Saudi market

is looking to the UAE as a pilot. It’s big enough to matter, but not so big it would be a total disaster if something went wrong. “As far as I understand the Saudi situation they’ve been through a tender process, they’ve had bids, they’ve assessed and evaluated bids and chosen an operator. They haven’t announced who the operator will be. If they were to announce it tomorrow, we’d be looking at getting results in about a year. That’s how long it takes to set up this kind of a project, so in a best case scenario we’ d be looking at getting results at the end of 2014.”

PRODUCTION Viacom regional EVP Raffaelle Annecchino.

COMEDY CENTRAL ME IMMINENT? The new regional EVP of Comedy Central parent Viacom has admitted he would love to launch a regional version of the popular Comedy Central channel to sit alongside MTV Arabia: “Regionally, there’s definitely a need and a space for more comedy - for finding a space to laugh, and looking at reality and saying things that you may not be able to in other contexts, so I think Comedy Central should have a greater role in the region,” Raffaele Annecchino told Digital Studio. “Looking at a greater understanding of our comedy strategy, I would definitely love to see a Comedy Central Middle East in future.”

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NEWS UPDATE

RUSHES

TVU SOCHI SPECIAL TVU NETWORKS HAS ANNOUNCED SPECIAL TVUPACK RENTAL PACKAGES FOR BROADCASTERS AT THE WINTER GAMES TAKING PLACE IN SOCHI, RUSSIA, IN FEBRUARY 2014. BROADCASTERS WILL BE ABLE TO DELIVER LIVE VIDEO FROM MORE LOCATIONS AS THEY COVER THE GAMES. WITH THE TVUPACK GLOBAL RENTAL PROGRAM, BROADCASTERS CAN RESERVE A COMPLETE TVUPACK INCLUDING CELLULAR DATA, AND HAVE THE TRANSMITTER DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO THEIR PRODUCTION TEAMS IN RUSSIA. TVU WILL PROVIDE GUARANTEED WIFI BANDWIDTH FROM SOCHI LOCATIONS. TVU WILL ALSO OFFER CUSTOM INSTALLATION OF DEDICATED WIFI BANDWIDTH FROM OTHER CUSTOMER-DESIGNATED LOCATIONS IN SOCHI FOR AN ADDITIONAL COST. TVU TECHNICAL SUPPORT PERSONNEL WILL BE ON LOCATION BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE GAMES TO ENSURE THAT TRANSMISSION IS SUCCESSFUL.

12 / NOVEMBER 2013

TGM’S CUP FORM TEAMS UP WITH RT FOR GRAPHICS

TRANSGULF MEDIA (TGM) has been commissioned by Saudi Television to produce 16 live sports analysis programmes for the King Cup football tournament. Saudi TV also requested TGM to design and operate a new sports analysis studio. The programmes produced by TGM deployed VR and AR technology for the first time in the Middle East. The programmes were broadcast from the new studio. TGM worked alongside RT Software who supplied two graphics systems for the studio analysis. This included a tOG-Sports Pro system to prepare telestrated analysis clips and also a broadcast quality custom touchscreen application. The clips were prepared in advance of the pre-game shows and during the live games for use at half time and full time. During the live shows this system was used in conjunction with a 46” touchscreen for the presenter to play out the clips and add further analysis, such as lines and arrows. This was seamlessly integrated by a custom touchscreen application that displayed the Road to the Final graphics as well as team comparisons. The second system provided touch table capability with augmented reality 3D players running across the table under the control of the presenter. The system also took advantage of several different presets that displayed team formations. This system also integrated virtual logos of the teams and sponsors on the studio floor and anchor desk – which provided virtual advertising options for the client.

ABOUT THE KING CUP The King Cup of Champions is the final tournament in the Saudi football season, launched in the 2007-2008 season with the aim of becoming the kingdom’s most popular competition, and the pinnacle of the Saudi football season. It is officially known as “The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Champions Cup.” The cup is competed for by eight teams – the teams from first to sixth in the Saudi premier League and the two main Saudi Cup winners, with cup runners up and seventh and eighth placed teams qualifying in the event of duplication.

This year’s event This year’s tournament dates were not set until a few weeks before it began, and the tournament started a week earlier than expected. “There was a tremendous buzz of activity to get graphics finished, team databases built and kit in place” commented Mike Fredriksen, RT Software. “But with the help of Trans Gulf Media and the support of Saudi TV we hit the deadlines. We even managed to add a few extra nice touches like the incorporation of a model of the King’s stadium onto the touch table”.

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NEWS UPDATE

BTV MARKS 4K FIRST MUSE HIT CINEMAS IN 4K

CANON SHOWS OFF C300 RUSHES EXCLUSIVE DUBAI SCREENING

Canon Middle East showcased its EOS C300 cine camera with an exclusive screening of the Ron Howard Formula 1 film Rush last month. The screening was attended by Canon brand ambassador, Nayla Al Khaja, the first Emirati female film director. Canon’s EOS C300 was used to capture a range of exhilarating action scenes in the movie. The team used the EOS C300 as handheld camera on the production because of the efficiency, the size, and the flexibility of the equipment.

BTV Post has completed the world’s first 4K digital cinema frame rate conversion from 25p to 24p With Snell’s Alchemist OD. The footage was from Muse’s Rome gig and the decision to post-produce a 4K cinema version rested on achieving a high enough quality 4K conversion at a low frame rate. BTV Post CTO Jon Lee commented on the achievement: “This sets a new benchmark for the conversion of performance content for digital cinema, and films for television and DVD, without ever needing to slow down or speed up again.”

DMTV MAKES LOCAL SHOW ADAPTATION OF LEBANESE HIT

Distinguished Men Television (DMTV) is expanding its programming with a version of Lebanese show Min Al Akher, featuring new content created for Gulf viewers. Hosted by Abdullah Al Hureiby from the UAE, Min Al Akher will focus on the Gulf with current affairs and events highlighting the region’s diverse culture, customs and traditions. DMTV MD Samar Sayegh said: “As a part of our mission to offer engaging programming while encouraging regional talent, we decided to take Min Al Akher outside of Lebanon and share with viewers of the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf.”

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NEWS ANALYSIS

THE BEST IS YET TO COME Separate surveys show that Arab youth is optimistic for the future Media organizations use results to plan content required by regional audiences sewhere in this issue, we hear from Viacom regional executive VP Raffaelle Annecchino about the results of his organisation’s recent study into the attitudes of ‘Generations Y and Z.’ This seemed an opportune excuse to look at the results of this year’s ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, and it looks like the positivity that Annechinno saw in his own research is alive and well in this region too. Three quarters of Arab youth said their best days are ahead of them. In each of the fifteen countries surveyed, a clear majority are optimistic about the future, with a nearly equal percentage of youth in the Gulf and non-Gulf states (76 percent and 72 percent, respectively) saying “our best days are ahead of us”. Likewise, more than half (58 percent) believe their country is “heading in the right direction” considering the last twelve months, while 55 percent say their national economy is also heading in the right direction. In the wake of the Arab Spring, regional youth are prouder than ever of their national identity — and they increasingly embrace modern values and beliefs. Nearly nine out of ten young Arabs (87 percent) feel “more proud to be an Arab” following the uprisings.

E

16 / NOVEMBER 2013

An optimistic Arab youth gets on with her studies.

For the second consecutive year, “being paid a fair wage” is the highest priority of Middle East youth, cited by 82 percent of all those surveyed. The importance of fair pay is followed by home ownership, with 66 percent of Arab youth describing “owning their own home” as “very important”. Meanwhile, the UAE continues to be regarded as a model nation. Asked to name the country, anywhere in the world, where they would most like to live, Arab youth, as they did in 2012, cite the UAE as their preference. France is the country outside MENA regarded most favourably by Arab youth, followed by Germany and China.  As the memory of the Arab Spring starts to fade, the overall percentage of young people updating themselves on news and

KEY FIGURES

87%

‘More proud to be an Arab’ following Arab Spring

46%

Check on news and current affairs daily

72%

Consume news through TV as main source

81% Identify themselves as active internet users

current affairs daily appears to have fallen, from its 2012 peak of 52 percent to 46 percent this year. Representing a significant shift in media consumption patterns, television is now the primary source of news for 72 percent of regional youth (up from 62 percent in 2012), while 59 percent of Arab youth rely on online sources, an eight percent  increase from 2012. Newspaper readership among Arab youth continues to plummet, from 62 percent in 2011, to 32 percent in 2012 and 24 percent this year. Magazines have experienced a slight gain from last year, but only eight percent of Arab youth say they get news from magazines. By comparison, social media is cited as the primary source of news of 28 percent of Arab youth, up from 20 percent last year.

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CHANNEL UPDATE

SPOTLIGHT

FILMLIGHT JOINS MGI FilmLight has strengthened its sales channel in the Gulf with the appointment of Media Group International (MGI). “The Middle East has a vibrant broadcast and postproduction industry with well-established media centres and film communities across the region. The appointment of MGI will allow us to get closer to these communities and provide local support for local projects,” said Jim Mansfield, Middle East account manager for FilmLight. “Our solutions are already used across the region to grade TV programmes, films and commercials but this appointment further points to the significance of the Middle East region to FilmLight’s future growth strategy.” Roger Barton, MGI’s sales director, Qatar, commented: “At MGI, we focus on giving our customers the most appropriate technology for their projects, both in terms of workflow and quality. This new arrange-

18 / NOVEMBER 2013

ment with FilmLight perfectly reflects our philosophy because FilmLight consistently delivers in each of these areas. Its technology is exceptional and the benefit it brings to customers’ colour grading workflows is second to none. “We are very excited about this new partnership with FilmLight and have already organized Master Classes at Northwest University in Doha, Qatar to showcase FilmLight’s products. We are confident that, by combining forces, we can give Middle East customers access to truly innovative technology that will enhance their creativity and benefit their workflows.” MGI will distribute the entire FilmLight portfolio including the world renowned Baseligh colour grading system. Baselight delivers consistent functionality and operational performance up to 4K DI and supports all industry standard digital film camera formats and the ACES workflow.

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Advanced Media and AM Studios continued to support The Dubai 48 Hour Film Project last month with a screening of the “Best 48 Hour films of 2012” The screenings included 48 Hour Films from all over the world, including our own winner from Dubai, The Pillow Case. There was also an opportunity to meet some of the filmmakers involved in this year’s Dubai project, which kicks off on Thursday Nov 7th, and learn more about what it takes to be amongst “the best filmmakers in the world.”

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CHANNEL UPDATE

AROUND THE GCC

DUBAI Oasis PPD has taken delivery of Datavideo’s new prompting systems. The TP-500 & TP-600 are designed around iPad & Android tablets, to deliver a cost-effective and versatile solution. Each teleprompter is controlled by the presenter via a wired or wireless remote. The 500 is designed for use with DSLR and small handheld camcorders – ideal for webcasts, lowcost documentaries and student productions.600 is designed for news and studio environments. They join TP-300, the tablet-based model suited to medium sized camcorders, such as the Panasonic AG-HPX250 or Sony PMW-200.

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IN THE GULF Advanced Media took customers on a cruise last month as part of its Angenieux lenses workshop. Attendees were supplied with the latest lenses from Angenieux and given the opportunity to test them out while cruising the Gulf. Among the range is the Optimo DP 25-250, launched at IBC. Dominique Rouchon, sales and marketing director, Thales Angénieux, said: “It’s a robust lens, meant to withstand a variety of conditions.The mythical focal length of 25-250mm appreciated by DoP’s everywhere has been re- born with the best of today’s optical and technological advances.”

ABU DHABI The Abu Dhabi Media Summit last month featured a combination of public sessions, closed-door discussions and private conversations, bringing together toptier global media players and their emerging-market counterparts, with special emphasis on the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, East Asia and China. Selected entrepreneurs and start-up companies also featured, bridging the gap between established and disruptive entrants. Eclectic, wide-reaching and exclusive, ADMS has quickly established itself as an essential date on the global calendar.

QATAR Two German broadcasters have beendetained by Qatari police as they made a film about migrant labourers in Doha. Peter Giesel, the head of a Munich production company, and his cameraman Robin Ahne told the UK’s Guardian they were detained for 27 hours after filming labourers. “They said they just wanted to talk to us, but it wasn’t clear about what,” Giesel said. “But the interrogations went on for several hours and then the security police got involved.” They said they were treated well in custody, but their equipment was confiscated as they had filmed without permission.

NOVEMBER 2013 / 19


EDITOR’S COMMENT

CHRIS NEWBOULD SOCIAL MEDIA: BRIGHT NEW OPPORTUNITY, DUMPING GROUND FOR SPAM, OR NEW PLACE TO INSULT CUSTOMERS? ith Gitex, InfoComm and the Abu Dhabi Media Summit all taking place last month, it’s been a hectic period for the industry, both on the creative and technical sides, and it’s certainly becoming increasingly clear that one fad that doesn’t seem to be going away is social media. Personally, I’m something of a Luddite on these matters, and though I have the pre-requisite Facebook account, and probably spend too much time on it, I find it hard to view such distractions as much more than that: Distractions for whiling away the hours when there’s nothing better to do. It can, of course be useful for planning social events and keeping in touch with old friends, but the future of the media industry? I’m not so sure. That said, there are plenty of people far more qualified than I am who are evidently convinced of social media’s worth as a platform and a revenue stream, and a glance around the stalls at InfoComm or IBC quickly reveals that for every ‘old school’ business hawking its cameras or editing suites, there are 10 new kids on the block offering all manner of social media integration, monetisation or exploitation of some description, so who am I to argue? The next question, then, is ‘are we using

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social media to the best of our, and its, abilities?’ On this question, I’m pretty sure the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ Take a recent example. I was invited to join a Facebook group for Arab film makers. As a conscientious journalist covering the local industry who is always on the look out for a good story, I took up the opportunity, and having joined made a point of having a scan through the recent posts in search of any nuggets that I might use to titillate, educate and fascinate readers with this month. First impressions were promising. The group had close to 400 members, and there was plenty of recent activity. It was somewhat disappointing, then, to discover that of the last five posts on the page, two were adverts for second hand cars, one was a post from the inescapable Group4Deals, who are evidently not content with taking over solely my email and my Facebook Newsfeed, and a fourth was offering translation services. Sadly, as my Arabic isn’t really up to scratch I can’t tell you about what languages were offered. Finally, number five was a screenwriting and directing course taking place in December, so a 20 per cent success rate. Bearing in mind that this particular group is presumably made up of some of the brightest young media minds in the region, and it still seems to exist mainly as

a repository for spam, what hope is there for stuffy old corporations to ‘leverage the maximum resources from the social media opportunity?’ It all reminded me of the tale of budget airline Ryanair’s efforts in the social media sphere when a helpful blogger pointed out to them a glitch in their online bookings system that allowed customers to book flights for free: “jason! you’re an idiot and a liar!! fact is! you’ve opened one session then another and requested a page meant for a different session, you are so stupid you dont even know how you did it!” (sic). As if their social media etiquette wasn’t already bad enough, a spokesman went on to confirm the comment was genuine, while adding his own take on social media to the conversation: “It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won’t be happening again... Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel.” (also sic) Looks like Ryanair share my misgivings about the platform’s commercial relevance. But maybe a but too enthusiastically. Chris Newbould is editor of Digital Studio magazine at ITP Business Publishing.

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GUEST COMMENT

PETTER OLE JAKOBSEN THE 2014 WORLD CUP AND WINTER OLYMPICS ARE APPROACHING. BROADCASTERS MUST BEGIN PREPARING NOW ith such major events as the Winter Olympics and the World Cup taking place in 2014, it will be more important than ever for broadcasters and content owners to leverage technology to fully realise the potential of their key sports rights. Fortunately the variety of sophisticated tools and technologies available today has never been better. Graphics has always been the mainstay of television production, especially for sports. Real Time graphics has always been an important tool to produce dynamic onscreen content for live sports events that helps to keep the viewers better informed. However, combine this with touchscreens, touch-tables or hand-held tablets, and the presenters have far greater control over the programme content and flow, which helps reach the audience more effectively and make the production more interesting for viewers. Combined with social media technologies, putting control in the hands of the presenters through new technologies opens up new possibilities for programming. Recent developments in image processing technologies enables us to provide a much deeper insight into important tactical plays by offering features like novel camera perspectives,

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where a contentious offside decision can be viewed from the perspective of a linesman, or a free kick can be seen from the point-of-view of the goalkeeper, even though physical cameras might not be located there. These technologies have also enabled virtual advertising to become a reality, opening up new revenue streams for content owners. Accurate sports statistics have always played a key part, where the analysis of teams, players and venues helps break down the sport for new viewers, yet provides greater insight for already knowledgeable fans. For major events, there is a huge volume of data already available and this continues to grow at a rapid rate, but graphics, database and computer technology have kept pace and we are now able to quickly mine the data for relevant information and help present this on screen in real time. Virtual Studios offer greater flexibility, and new techniques bring together traditional green screen studios with immersive graphics and interactivity offering greater flexibility and creativity. In addition to tracked cameras, tracked objects within the studio open up a whole new level of possibilities. For those that are looking to produce content for the future, be it 3D stereoscopy or 4K, solutions are now available to make this possible. Producing content, both video and graphics, in the

highest quality possible provides great flexibility for the future, even though it might not be needed today. With the ubiquity of the Internet and the proliferation of mobile devices, making content available on multiple platforms is a must for broadcasters. They already understand that content needs to be suitably adapted for different devices, not only because the audienceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs are different but also because the devices that people use are different. To produce compelling 3D graphics, new ways of looking at sports replays and analysis, all delivered cost-effectively to multiple platforms in real-time and with consistent branding, places an ever-greater demand on production companies, so a greater reliance on technology, with an emphasis on an efficient workflow, is not only critical, but inevitable. Effective use of modern technology has therefore become a key weapon amongst broadcasters, allowing them to achieve their goals and compete in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s marketplace. And for the viewer, the major sports events have never had better coverage and greater insights, presented in an interesting and dynamic way that everyone can understand. I know that I, like many others, cannot wait for the next match to start.. Petter Ole Jakobsen, CTO, Vizrt

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The Future Is Networked. MEDIORNET COMPACT

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Ahmed Magd El Din


MY STUDIO

LEARNING ON THE JOB A pictorial reminder of UBMS and Sony’s studio set up for the region’s top end educational establishments. arlier this year, UBMS and Sony teamed up to install a fully-functioning, Sony-based news studio such as may be found in a school, college or similar educational establishment at Sony’s debut event in the region aimed at showing how Sony’s AV products can be used in an educational environment. The studio covered the whole spectrum of news production from content gathering through cinematography to editing and post production, showcasing equipment from cameras and lenses through to lights and software, and offered a dramatic indication of how technology in the education sector has galloped ahead since this humble hack was last in a hallowed hall of learning, where a cassette recorder for French aural was the height of technology.

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MY STUDIO

UBMS kitted out a fully-functioning news studio.

It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like this in my day. Lights, cameras, and a Scalectrix. What more could the modern student need?

www.digitalproductionme.com

NOVEMBER 2013 / 25


CASE STUDY / POST PRODUCTION AT MILE STUDIO

REGIONAL AMBITION With a new executive VP at the helm, Viacom is set to launch itself even further into the region’s consciousness through its popular products including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

iacom, the world’s fourth largest media conglomerate, is no stranger to the region. Launched in 2007, its MTV Arabia property has been a huge success with local audiences, featuring a round-the-clock mix of local music videos and home-produced shows such as Hip Hop Na and Banat while Nickelodeon Arabia enjoyed brief popularity between 2008 and 2010 with a mix of dubbed/subtitled Western content and shows produced in Nickelodeon Arabia’s own studio, such as Shoof Kids

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and Jamaatna. Many of the company’s international properties, including the main MTV and Nickelodeon channels and global favourites like Comedy Central and The Paramount Movie Channel are also available to satellite viewers in the region. If new executive VP for Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa Raffaele Annecchino has his way, however, we could soon be seeing a lot more production taking place in the region alongside Viacom’s successful international content. We caught up with Annecchino on a recent visit to Dubai, where he explained: “We are exploring the possibility of grow-

ing our business in the region. It really is a unique part of the world, where half the population is the millennial generation, between nine and 30 years of age. Our expertise through our brands is speaking to these people so that makes the Middle East a business priority for us. “We’re already shooting here for the global channels, not just the regional ones. We recently recorded Plain Jane at Atlantis, The Palm for worldwide airing, and we have a lot of other activities around our properties taking place regionally too. We have an agreement with Virgin Radio to promote the MTV Europe Music

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CASE STUDY / VIACOM

L NS www.digitalproductionme.com

NOVEMBER 2013 / 27


CASE STUDY / VIACOM

Awards in November and lots of activity on the ground too EMA awards Nov 10 in Amsterdam and lots of activity in ground. We had a big party at Atlantis with Dora and Spongebob, two of our most popular properties, and we’re always looking to reinforce our brands regionally. Our main goal over the coming months is precisely that – to grow our brands in this market.” With this in mind, one of the main reasons for Annecchio’s visit to the UAE was to meet with a number of potential local partners. Although he was tight-lipped about who these might be, it’s clear that Viacom is seeking more than an office for a regional sales operation: “We’re looking for a partner for all sides of the business,” he explains. “We’ll be able to work much more closely with the local market with a local partner, and we hope that will include not just a commercial partnership but production and everything else too. Our global approach is always to produce properties that can travel around the world and succeed in localised markets, but with a local partner onside we believe we can be even more relevant in the local market.” He adds: “We’ll take specific decisions around local production when our future is clear and we have long term plans in place, but I’d certainly like to work around Nickelodeon and our kids properties, and comedy is something else I think can be very successful in localised markets. I’m sure we’ll have some big news soon.” Looking at Viacomm’s existing portfolio, and hearing Annecchio’s ambitions, it seems feasible that a Comedy Central Arabia could be a logical step, and while Annecchio doesn’t confirm this, it’s clearly a thought that’s crossed his mind: “I’d love that to happen. My goal is to have as many regionalised versions of channels as possible. We want to be relevant to all our targets, from kids to adults, Nickelodeon to comedy to Paramount Movies to MTV. “There’s definitely space for more comedy, for positiveness and finding a space to laugh, and also for looking at reality and saying things that you may not be able to in other contexts, so I think Comedy Central should have a greater role in the region. I’ve seen small comedy events here, and

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“WE’RE ALWAYS LOOKING TO REINFORCE OUR BRANDS REGIONALLY.” Raffaele Annecchino, EVP, Viacom

Regionallyshot pop videos are the core of MTV Arabia’s content.

there’s a real positiveness around comedy in the region. Local partners are even more important with comedy as so much depends on local discussions. Looking at greater understanding of our comedy strategy, I would definitely love to see a Comedy Central Middle East.” Another reason for Annecchino’s visit was to present the results of Viacom’s recent research into ‘Generation Y’ and

‘Generation Z’ at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit. He explains: “Once you know your consumer, you can develop content and platforms that really get close to their needs. We’ve developed a study to learn how they act and one of main outcomes was the positivity of this generation. Contrary to previous generations it believes the world is full of opportunity. “Another interest aspect of the research

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CASE STUDY / VIACOM

My Nick Junior may be coming soon.

Plain Jane’s Louise Roe was recently filming at Atlantis, The Palm.x

was the reconnection with family values of this generation. Generation Z enjoys living with, playing, interacting and having fun with the family. Some 56 per cent of Saudi kids see their mother as their best friend.” Having learned about the importance of values like connectivity with parents, Viacom has already acted on its findings. Annecchino presented the new platform My Nick Junior to the region on his visit.

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The new platform is what Annecchino describes as “a linear channel, but but customisable and personalisable,” and was developed in partnership with France’s Canal Sat. It has already launched on the French market and is now set to be rolled out across other global markets. Annecchino explains: “With My Nick Junior, parents and kids learn about what they like and why together. The technology won

the Grand Prix in Cannes last year, and already has more than 100,000 individual channels created by users, with an average consumption length of 40 minutes. Our answer to ‘lets play together’ is ‘lets have a total, mobile, multi-platform approach with TV, tablet, phone. It is also the answer to the outcome of how to provide content audiences really want, because the technology monitors what viewers want to see, then feeds that sort of content directly to their individual channel.” Annecchino notes that Nickelodeon’s content is already extremely popular in the Middle East, making it a logical future market for the My Nick Junior brand, and it’s clear that after six months in his new role, Annecchino is committed to bringing Viacom and the Middle East much closer together: “We can get more relevant on a local basis in many ways. We’re big on things like the event at Atlantis to bring properties closer to kids, and we’ve done similar events in shopping malls in Saudi too. It’s a way to get content out of screens and closer to kids. We can offer all sorts from particular products according to which ones are most relevant for the region, and we’re looking to really emphasise getting more characters into the region. “I think there’s a big opportunity here for all our brands, and I think it’s the right time in the region to go deeper and expand. After our research we have a much deeper knowledge of regional habits and desires, and of how to avoid a lack of consideration for specific local issues. A local partner will help with that even more, and I’m sure over the next month or so you’ll be seeing significant movement in that direction. We’ve taken a very definite decision to have a bigger presence and place our finger on pulse of the region.” Annecchino concludes: “MTV Arabia content is already 100 per cent for the region, so we already have lots of locally produced shows and videos. My immediate goal now is to build a stronger business in the region for all our brands and really establish Viacom in the region. “I’ve only been in the new role since March, but I’m already really excited about the task ahead in the Middle East.”

NOVEMBER 2013 / 29


EVENT PREVIEW

ITP Broadcast Conference 2014 Monday, 27th January 2014 sees the third ITP Broadcast Conference set up shop at The Ritz Carlton, DIFC, Dubai The Broadcast Conference 2014 will bring together over 150 film and television broadcast industry leaders from across the GCC to discuss the biggest challenges and opportunities in the region. CTOs, CIOs and COOs will benefit from the discussions across the morning targeted to long term strategic planning and development of brands, content and technology through sessions that will cover the next generation of broadcasting; identifying technological innovations that will change business; delivering great content and increasing profitability. The afternoon of this exclusive, invite only event will shift gears with a number of workshops runs by experts in their field that will allow the delegates to get a more hands on approach for those engineers and technicians who want to stay up-todate on the latest technology that will ulti-

mately drive the industry forward. Following on from the huge success of the last two Broadcast Conferences, the 2014 event will continue to deliver opportunities necessary for the region to better understand the fractured markets, multicultural nature and rising youth market that will dominate decisions and strategies over the next decade. Keep an eye on www.digitalproductionme.com/conferences, where you will find regular updates to the list of speakers, panelists and workshops and other relevant news.

PRELIMINARY SPEAKER LIST š Nick Grande, Managing Director, ChannelSculptor š Digby Taylor, Business Development Manager, Gulf News Broadcasting š David Hanson, Director of Digital, OSN š Karim Sarkis, CEO, Sync Media

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BROADCAST FORUM 2014 TUESDAY 27TH JANUARY 2014 THE RITZ-CARLTON, DIFC DUBAI - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

QUALIFIED BROADCAST PROFESSIONALS ATTEND FOR FREE

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For sponsorship opportunities please contact: Napoleon Estampador Sales Manager T: +971 4 444 3381 M: +971 50 788 4408 E:napoleon.estampador@itp.com Peter Davis Sales Director T: +971 4 444 3741 M: +971 52 825 4430 E:peter.davis@itp.com

WWW.DIGITALPRODUCTIONME.COM/CONFERENCES


The annual event held its fourth edition this year.

ABU DHABI MEDIA SUMMIT

SCALING THE SUMMIT This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Abu Dhabi Media Summit featured a typically impressive guest list, and covered an wide range of topics for the modern media professional.

32 / NOVEMBER 2013

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ABU DHABI MEDIA SUMMIT

Last month, Abu Dhabi welcomed delegates to the fourth edition of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, with the guest list taking in a typically stellar line up of figures from the global media industry. Opening the summit via satellite link, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, gave the opening address live via satellite, making an impassioned plea for the openness of the web, a defence of whistleblowers and the importance of the internet to developing countries. Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International, then went on to speak about the art of emerging market expansion, storytelling in a global marketplace, and discussed the disruption of linear viewing habits in favour of digital “snacking”. Bird discussed how modern consumers have begun to enjoy bite-size pieces of content at all times, wherever they are:

I

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“Consumers used to sit and consume content by watching television or going to the movies. Now you can be at the bus stop, at the supermarket, and you can snack on media. We’ve been experimenting with what that means, especially in terms of duration”. Day two was perhaps the day of greatest interest to content producers. The day kicked off with Mark Hollinger, president & CEO of Discovery Networks International and Man Jit Singh, CEO, Sony India discussing ‘big TV,’ local exports, the challenges and opportunities of 4G, content for wireless and the rising importance of women-centric programming. Hollinger said Discovery now operates in 224 countries with nearly 1.6 billion subscribers across 42 brands, and he believes there is still a place for ‘big TV’ in the digital world which offers so many opportunities on so many platforms. “We do not want to kill off the golden goose of the pay TV model,” he said. Singh explained that, in India, the

media landscape is changing rapidly. With the advent of 4G and digitization, the growth in India will be wireless, and India is skipping over the wired phase entirely. “Shortform content will be watched on mobiles and smartphones and content for wireless will have to be different. Music and comedy clips work well. In India, the biggest use of the cell phone is to listen to music, it becomes your radio,” he said. Senior executives from Google, Twitter, Buzzfeed and Adobe discussed how to leverage technology and new media to build strong, coherent and consistent brand narratives - from creating compelling stories for global brands, to how social media conversation has changed the game for advertisers, the importance of costeffective distribution on the internet and the death of the banner advert. Panellists talked in detail about how the increase of contact points with customers and consumers across the globe – what Shailesh Rao, VP Asia Pacific, Latin America & Emerging Markets, Twitter

NOVEMBER 2013 / 33


ABU DHABI MEDIA SUMMIT

- defined as “a conversation based on mutual respect” has affected the traditional advertising model. “It has changed everything”, said Jonathan Perelman, VP, agency strategy, Buzzfeed. “We went from broadcast media, which was centralized and expanded out, to social media, with nodes of concentric circles of people sharing content, being part of a conversation in a natural, organic way. It’s had a profound impact”. Javier Zapatero, regional director, Google argued that the single most important thing to realize was that the whole concept of community was evolving and technology was changing behaviour globally, and this presented new issues for

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advertisers and marketers: “The challenge is simple. How do we earn the right to be chosen, how do we earn the right to engage with people? It’s no longer just about reach and frequency”. The rise of multi-screens and how the advent of the second and third screen is augmenting and changing the TV industry and changing the consumer experience was also the subject of panels. Samantha Barry, social media producer for BBC World News, talked about the impact second screens were having on TV news and viewing: “Engaging with your audience is what is key to second screen news, it’s about interacting,” she said. “Using second screens, viewers want a whole

different voice – tone and content we make for second and third screens is very different to what we broadcast on TV – using a personal voice is really important.” Nart Bouran, head of Sky News Arabia, explained that second and third screens also add to the longevity of content – as it creates discussion and viewing long before and after a linear broadcast. “A linear broadcast creates a panel of discussion around a programme – but you get longevity of topic on social media or other screens – these multi-screens can continue discussion before during or after content is broadcast with a view to engaging as many people as possible.” Panellists also agreed that rather than killing off linear TV, second and third screen viewing enriched the viewing experience as viewers feel more involved and have a voice. In another session, representatives from Sony Computer Entertainment, Gameloft and Scopely discussed opportunities for innovation, branding and monetization of gaming and social gaming. For Sony in the Middle East, Nicholas Aqqad, Arabic community manager, Sony Computer Entertainment said that the “biggest focus over past 4 years has been engagement with gamers, and embedding their feedback into our strategy”. This had led to the company creating its own official platforms in the region including the translation of its community forums: “It started off with social media, with people saying stuff about you, both positive and negative, and the realization that you have to answer back. The localization built a huge following and a connection with the brand, and people started to see Sony in a different light”. The way the next generation interacts, communicates and produces content – and how traditional, digital and social media will have to adapt to reflect changing technology and attitudes – was discussed by representatives from Viacom International Media Networks, the United Talent Agency and Booz & Company. Eric Kuhn, head of social media, United Talent Agency referred to the upcoming generation as “Generation C”: “young

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With rapid advancement in digital technology and the Middle East’s media industry growing each year, DIGITAL BROADCAST Middle East serves to provide the latest industry news, features and analysis to this booming market.

Official Media Partner

Aimed at those responsible for the delivery and management of media content for television, cinema, radio, mobile and online distribution, DIGITAL BROADCAST Middle East is the ultimate information resource for industry professionals.

THE BUSINESS OF DIGITAL CONTENT DELIVERY An ITP Business Publication | SEPTEMBER 2013 | VOL. 06 ISSUE 09 THE BUSINESS OF DIGITAL CONTENT DELIVERY An ITP Business Publication | AUGUST 2013 | VOL. 06 ISSUE 08

TEST CARD

Laurent Roussel, MD and regional sales director, Eutelsat Middle East

We speak with Thomas Birner, director of sales at Quantel

CODECS TO THE RESCUE

IBC 2013

A preview of Europe’s biggest broadcast exhibition

A look at how codecs are changing the broadcast industry

SATELLITE SURGE We speak with the MD of Eutelsat Middle East about his plans for the region

Harris opens training academy; Yahsat appoints new CEO; Rotana announces online VoD service; ADM updates channels; DMI Ramadan website relaunch

FOR ADVERTISING CONTACT:

FOR EDITORIAL CONTACT:

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ABU DHABI MEDIA SUMMIT

people who love content but also love to connect, curate and create”, while Christopher Vollmer, partner & global leader, media & entertainment, Booz & Company set out the new rules for global narratives and content development in a digital age: “User behaviour is changing with younger people and storytelling has to change too. It has to become more responsible, collaborative, and focused on participation. Most interesting new formats are heading towards this, and are more sophisticated, more focused on co-creation. It’s a more agile kind of storytelling, less linear”. Raffaele Annecchino, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director

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of South Europe, Middle East & Africa, Viacom International Media Networks spoke about how Viacom had adapted as a content provider in this new digital world, citing the example of the Video Music Awards in New York which had double the TV audience of last year, as well as 4million unique users on MTV.com, and 15million streaming the ceremony on their mobiles. “This was not a coincidence,“ he said. “We studied the VMAs and used digital media once we had conceptualized what it would look like”. He said that the young generation was hyper-connected and “think of the internet as the natural part of their life, like eating and drinking. They are totally

multi-platform, consume content on any kind of device and, I hesitate to say ‘addicted’ but they are very connected to social media”. On the final day of the Summit, sessions focused on entrepreneurship and investment for startups with panelists sharing their stories of ventures that had succeeded and failed. Zainab Salbi, the writer, activist and social entrepreneur who founded Women for Women International and Nida’a Network talked candidly about the role of Arab women in the remaking of the Middle East. She went on to talk about how women view themselves in the Middle East and stressed the need to represent the multiple identities of women in the Arab world in the media and in political and economic life. “Young women are the new voice for individual freedom and citizenship, they are recreating society in new paradigms and we need to let them find a voice as they may be our hope for progress.” Some of the region’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs talked about the necessary tools for entrepreneurship and building new companies, and claimed that the opportunity to build successful digital businesses in the Middle East is ‘immense’ if companies can overcome finance and talent issues according to a group of venture capitalists in the region. Google regional manager for the Middle East, Egypt and North Africa, Wael Fakharany, said he was keen to invest in ideas in the video, mobile and user-targeting spaces – with plenty of opportunities for start-ups to explore. Fakharany complained, however, that the amount of money investors were willing to pump into start-up digital companieswas too small: “Funding remains a problem,” he said. “Not the first round of $1-2m but the aggressive $10-15m investments. These kind of sums need to be invested over and over again. He concluded: “All the ingredients are here but the recipe has not been good. We have the talent, the market, the technology and the money – but no-one has mixed it into a good global recipe yet.”

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TECHNOLOGY / SPORTS PRODUCTION

Ultra HD and second screening will soon become staples of how we experience live sports, says Adrian Pennington

38 / NOVEMBER 2013

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TECHNOLOGY / SPORTS PRODUCTION

here are two main drivers in the world of sports broadcasting, both of which will leap into the public consciousness over the next 18 months or so with the next round of international sports extravaganzas. To an extent the technologies involved are at opposite extremes to each other. On the one hand there is the need among broadcasters to feed consumer expectations, in a post-2012 Olympics world, to view even more action in HD live and on-demand on their mobiles and tablets. Second screening heralds potentially the most revolutionary change in broadcasting since multi-camera coverage, since it promises to break the linear, directed single view of a game into individual – and, as we shall see, communal - experiences. Then there is Ultra HD which certain pay TV operators seem eager to get to air and for which sports is considered the key genre with which to attract subscribers to a new premium service. It seems Russia will be first out of the blocks when NTV+ airs 4K coverage of the Sochi winter games in March. The transmission would go to public viewing areas and cinemas. Tests have been made using MPEG4 cluster of four images (Quad HD) from Canon cameras and compressed by Ericsson encoders. “As an intermediate solution this works but we need to move forward so that the complete image is encoded in one go,” noted Oleg Kolesnikov, CTO, NTV+ at a Eutelsat event at IBC. Chip-sets capable of

T

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decoding compression scheme HEVC need developing and incorporating into set top boxes before 4K direct by satellite to the home is economically viable, something not likely before 2015. As far as production goes, Sony and FIFA have exhibited a workable model at the Confederations Cup. It was successful enough for them to announce that at least the World Cup final will be captured in 4K next July. A broadcast depends on FIFA convincing rights holders to sign up. “We are putting a stake in the ground, showing to broadcasters what a fantastic product a 4K World Cup is,” said David Bush, Sony marketing director. Whereas the Confederations Cup test involved seven F55 cameras and a couple of converted feeds, an Ultra HD World Cup Final will be recorded with a greater number of 4K cameras and additional 2D conversion as well. “What Sony delivered at the Confederations Cup was technically very good but we are still a very long way off in terms of production,” explains Francis Tellier, CEO of FIFA host broadcaster HBS. “One limitation is the amount of cameras available in 4K. You can’t tell the story of the match in the same way [as HD] given this current limitation so you are obliged to find a different way to tell it.” Sony has since introduced a PWS-440 4K server making it possible to record ISO feeds in 4K and to create slowmotion and highlight editing also in 4K. Telestration, HD cut-outs from 4K images and picture stitching can also be accomplished to polish HD live coverage today, it’s argued. The unit supports four 4K inputs and contains up to five hours record

NOVEMBER 2013 / 39


TECHNOLOGY / SPORTS PRODUCTION

Sports production is moving on at a pace..

time and is a direct competitor to EVS – according to Sony.

4K LIVE ‘A PRACTICAL REALITY’ At IBC last month, Sony’s European chief Katsunori Yamanouchi declared “4K is no longer a vision. It is a practical reality.” So far Telegenic is the only OB supplier in Europe to have outfitted a 4K truck, although UK-based CTV, part of the giant Euromedia Group is also committed. “We are talking to OB operators around Europe about adding a 4K layer to their

“WE ARE TALKING TO OB OPERATORS AROUND EUROPE ABOUT ADDING A 4K LAYER TO THEIR EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE,” Claus Pfeiffer, Sony

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existing infrastructure,” explains Sony’s Strategic Marketing Manager, Live Production, Claus Pfeiffer who insists doing so is inexpensive if 4K kit is used to enhance today’s HD productions. For example, a transmission camera adaptor attached to the F55 provides familiar CCU operation and talkback to the operator. “If they have HDC2500 cameras they can reuse the CCU, reuse the viewfinder and the RCP control which means the additional investment necessary for 4K shooting is not so big,” he says. Sony’s switcher onboards a new upconversion processor to upres HDC-2500s to 4K. The same technology may make it possible to upscale HD from specialist aerial or railcameras for integration into a live 4K workflow. Shooting 60fps is also not considered an issue for what Sony considers the first phase of live 4K production. “The EBU

discussion are centering on 100fps but we can prove that 60fps is already capable of creating very good 4K images,” says Pfeiffer. “Since chipsets for STB’s capable of 100fps might not arrive for a couple of years, 60fps makes 4K possible now.” The F55 and F5 feature new high frame rate capability of 2K 240fps or 4K 60p. For higher 4K rates, Sony’s F65 will reach 120fps. At IBC the company added a pair of NXCAM camcorders, pitched at corporate and low budget production. The NEX-FS700R models feature a 4K Exmor Super35 CMOS sensor and enable 4K/2K recording on an external recorder. Standard live production cameras use three 2/3 inch sensors to record HD 1080P, but achieving 4K using the same design means a reduction in light hitting the sensor. A larger sensor can create depth of field issues not familiar to camera operators or the viewing public. “The existing crop of 4K cameras tend to be single sensor which, if you are doing production one camera a time, is fine for 4K workflow, but for live multi-camera work these cameras have limitations in focal range and depth of field,” says Grass Valley’s Matt Allard, VP Marketing. Grass Valley is researching to see if it can work out a technology compromise. “We need a solution that truly matches requirements,” Allard says. Sony insist that shallow depth of field has not been shown to be as big an issue as feared, and what’s more that the F55 can be used for both live action and beauty material to make investment viable. Additionally “The shallow depth of field of the F55 make it great for use in cinematography one day and on 4K sports

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TECHNOLOGY / SPORTS PRODUCTION

“WE CAN USE THE SAME CAMERA POSITIONS AND SHOOT THE SAME WAY AS 1080I; THE PRODUCTION IS NOT AN ADDITIONAL BURDEN” Luc Doneux , EVS

the next,” says Pfeiffer.

3D NOTICABLY ABSENT At IBC in September, stereo 3D was virtually absent from booths, with vendors transferring their R&D and marketing dollars into 4K which is seen by all as a safer bet. “You have to look at what is mainstream and what is the toy that is going to go away,” says Luc Doneux, EVP, Sports Division, EVS. “It’s not always easy to pick the right horse because some broadcasters want to be on the cutting edge to create uniqueness to their programming. We knew 3D was not going to be right for live sport. We believe 4K and 8K should have a better innings. We can use the same camera positions and shoot the same way as 1080i; the production is not an additional burden.” Other new 4K-ready live production kit includes: Evertz’ introduction of a suite of 4K workflow tools offering compres-

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sion, routing, processing/conversion and monitoring as well as a unified control system using Magnum. Its 4K replay system Dreamcatcher features Mosaic which allows real time viewing of simultaneous camera angles. A 4K version of EVS’ XT3 production server is now ready, enabling instant delivery of multicam footage to second screens and live slow motion in Ultra HD, as well as greater flexibility for HD workflows. The only 4K hi-speed broadcast camera is the Phantom Flex which records 4K at 1000fps. Sports specific solutions are in development with the I-Movix system now featuring a function for automatic flicker-free ultra slowed down action on its X10 and X10+ Sprintcam units which capture HD at 2,600 fps.

MORE CONTENT FUELS SECOND SCREEN Roughly 3000 hours will be captured dur-

ing the World Cup, similar to the South Africa event 2010, but much more of this can now be stored longer term rather than erased to make new record space. There will also be forty ENG crews located in the vast Brazilian hinterland to deliver training camp action and local colour back to the International Broadcast Centre in Rio. This is designed to save broadcasters the cost of shipping equipment and staff around the country between matches, but it will also be used to feed second screen demand. “We were ready for second screen in 2006 though it was not called that then and by 2010 we were already producing great content in great quantity to service bespoke broadcast requirements,” says Tellier. “Now, for the first time now football fans will be able to choose their perspectives. There will be an interactive camera plan that allows viewers to switch between an ultramotion and a Steadicam.”

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The Online Home for Digital Content Production in the Middle East

For advertising enquiries, please contact: Riad Raad, Sales Manager, B2B Digital Tel: +971 4 444 3319, E-mail: riad.raad@itp.com


TECHNOLOGY / SPORTS PRODUCTION

Control rooms are getting high tech too.

HBS’ turnkey solutions include a white label Apps and Broadcast Player that will allow viewers to pick their own feeds, live pause, and request extra data in real time. Johann Schreurs, General Manager, New Media Broadcast at EVS cautions against broadcasters having separate divisions, one handling video and another handling multimedia within the sports department. “There should not be a hard wall between the two. We try to advise clients to try and send images to the device that haven’t been shown on the first screen, and as fast as possible. This is real added value. The video producer is perfectly capable of teling the story with their pictures (from a pool of content on a shared server). This technology is now

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“THE CHALLENGE IS HOW YOU KEEP TECHNOLOGY MOVING ON IN A MEANINGFUL WAY, NOT DOING IT FOR TECHNOLOGY’S SAKE” Ben Gallop, BBC adding a genuine story-telling layer to second screens.” Sky Sports is introducing more and more second screen video but the head of its mobile division, Tim Orme, says useage is changing. “It used to be match or game focused, but we are seeing a huge amount of second screen activity between other users such as comments, reactions

and just getting closer to their favourite sport,” he says. The shared experience is often held up as the main emotional driver behind broadcast events watched live on TV, but the BBC’s aim is build connectivity using social media between individual second screen viewers. “During the Olympics, 1 million viewers watched Bradley Wiggins win a gold model online, but 999,999 probably thought they were watching it on their own,” observes BBC head of sport Ben Gallop. “During the World Cup we will definately do more to make the moment shared, more social, more connected.” Half of the whole UK adult population used the BBC Sport website during London 2012 and had 24 streams online to watch any even live. “A year on and that is now a hygiene factor, they expect it to be delivered,” says Gallop. “The challenge for any broadcaster is how you keep technology moving on in a meaningful way for the audience, and not doing it for technology’s sake.” Not everything was successful, he reveals. “Maybe there was too much data as overlays on the screen, and some of our full video player wasn’t available on mobile. We will take those lessons onboard when we look at 2014. We have our annual staples, like Wimbledon and Open Golf, plus the Winter Games and at the end of the summer, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow which is another opportunity to bring the nation together.” Grass Valley also has its eye on second screen and remote production demands from broadcasters, trends which it sees at opposite ends of the scale to high-resolution recording. “4K will appeal to sports bars or individuals with the space to house a large screen, yet the driving factor in terms of content is on the second screen,” says Allard. “For broadcasters the pressing issues are how quickly can I create a different viewer experience on multiple different platforms. What is my second screen presence, my web and mobile presence? These are issues at odds with the direction of 4K.”

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DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS

NOMINATE TO ACCUMULATE The Digital Studio Awards return for a 10th year during CABSAT this March. Here’s the lowdown. KEY FACTS

Last year’s winners take a bow.

How long have the Digital Studio awards been running? Launched in 2005, this is the 10th year of the Digital Studio awards. When are the awards? The Digital Studio awards will take place on Wednesday 12th March, 2014. Where are the awards? The Digital Studio awards will take place at a 5* hotel in Dubai, exact venue TBC.

ow in its 10th year, the Digital Studio Industry Leadership Awards acknowledges the efforts of individuals, organisations and companies that have contributed to the growth of the broadcast and production industry in the region. This year’s awards will once again take place in partnership with CABSAT – the region’s largest exhibition for the broadcast and production industries – and will be held on the second night of the three-day event in March. The gala evening will play host to the region’s leading professionals in the broadcast, TV and film production and post-production industries as well as vendors, systems integrators, consultants and other high profile guests. The Digital Studio Awards recognises and rewards those local, regional and international players that have gone above and beyond in terms of their industry contribution. The Digital Studio 2014 ceremony will include 13 categories covering the broadcast and production industries. Nominations will open online by 1st January 2014. For more information, as well as nomination criteria, and online nominations and bookings, visit the Digital Production ME website: www.digitalproductionme.com/dsawards.

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AWARDS CATEGORIES Best Animation of 2013 (Show reel required with submission in DVD format) Best Production of 2013 (Noncommercial work – movies, TV series, documentaries etc.  Show reel required with submission in DVD format) Best Post Production House (Show reel required with submission in DVD format) Studio of the Year  Technology Implementation of the Year  Systems Integrator of the Year  Distributor/Reseller of the Year  Manufacturer of the Year  Best up and coming filmmaker (Show reel required with submission in DVD format) Content Creation of the Year (Commercial work – TVCs, corporate films etc – DVD show reel required) Content Delivery of the Year  Satellite Services/Provider of the Year  Innovation of the Year

For each nomination you will need to describe in 200 words or less why you deserve to win

Who can I nominate? If the entry criteria are met for a particular category, you may nominate: your own company, a supplier, a business partner, or even a client. Third party nominations as well as self nominations are accepted. What is the agenda/programme of the night? 7:15 – 7:30 pm: guest arrival 7:30 – 8:30 pm: networking reception 8:30 – 9:45 pm: awards ceremony 9:45 pm: gala dinner and networking 11:00 pm: guest departure please note that the above timings are approximate and subject to change, slightly, on the night. What is the dress code for the awards? The dress code is business attire/national dress. Evening formals are optional. I have been shortlisted for an award do I need to book a ticket? How? All attendees must book and pay for their tickets in order to attend the awards. Table bookings and individual seat bookings can be made online on the awards website. How many people does a table seat and do I have to purchase a full table? A full table seats 10 people. It is not necessary to purchase a full table, individual bookings are also accepted.

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2014

10

CELEBRATING THE EVENT’S

TH

ANNIVERSARY

MARK THE DATE OF WEDNESDAY 12TH MARCH 2014 FOR THE 10TH ANNUAL DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS -THE MOST CELEBRATED EVENT FOR THE MIDDLE EAST BROADCAST AND PRODUCTION INDUSTRY

FOR SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: PETER DAVIS SALES DIRECTOR TEL: +971 4 444 3741 EMAIL: PETER.DAVIS@ITP.COM FOR NOMINATION INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: CHRIS NEWBOULD EDITOR TEL: +971 4 444 3596 EMAIL: CHRIS.NEWBOULD@ITP.COM FOR OTHER ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: MICHELLE MEYRICK EVENTS MANAGER TEL: +971 4 444 3328 EMAIL: MICHELLE.MEYRICK@ITP.COM OR VISIT THE 10TH ANNUAL DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS AT WWW.DIGITALPRODUCTIONME.COM /DSAWARDS


COMMUNITY

COMMUNITY ALL THE LATEST FROM THE REGIONAL PRODUCTION AND BROADCAST COMMUNITY

TROPFEST ARABIA 2013 JUDGES AN-

RUSHES

PAN-ARAB JUDGING PANEL SELECTED

SONY SELECTS FIFA FLAG BEARERS FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP

Sony MEA last month gave 64 youngsters the chance to act as flag-bearers at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. Yoji Higashida, director, marketing at Sony MEA, said: “We believe in developing opportunities to actively engage the community. The flag- bearer initiative will offer these students an opportunity to interact with the young soccer icons, and inspire them to develop their talent in the game.”

MEFCC LAUNCHES WORKSHOPS NEW MONTHLY SESSIONS

The Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) held the first of what it hopes will be a regular series of workshops in Dubai Media City last month. Taking place in Media City’s magazine shop, the free session covered ‘getting your ideas onto the screen’ and was hosted by Dubai One’s Omar Obaid Bin Butti.

48 / NOVEMBER 2013

Tropfest Arabia has announced its panel of judges from across MENA for the third edition of Tropfest, which takes place on 8 November, on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche. The TROPFEST Arabia 2013 jury panel features a number of high profile industry figures and celebrities from across the region, including Emirati filmmaker Ali F. Mustafa; Tunisian actress, Dorra Zarrouk (below); Syria’s popular actor, Basel Khayat; renowned Kuwaiti actor, Khaled Amin and Jordanian film producer Rula Nasser. Following the selection of the finalist films by Egyptian movie-star Yusra, this year’s festival co-director, and TROPFEST founder John Polson, the judges will see the films screened for the first time at the festival, where they will have the challenging task of selecting the winning film live. The jury members have expressed their full support for TROPFEST Arabia’s objective to provide an opportunity for young and aspiring filmmakers from across the region to take their first steps in a movie making career.

SHEEN WINS DIFF AWARD DIFF HAS ANNOUNCED THAT MARTIN SHEEN WILL RECEIVE A PRESTIGIOUS DIFF LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR HIS DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO THE FILM INDUSTRY DURING THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 10TH EDITION OF THE FESTIVAL ON DECEMBER 6. DIFF CHAIRMAN ABDULHAMID JUMA SAID: “MARTIN SHEEN IS A CINEMATIC LEGEND WHOSE REMARKABLE CAREER HAS SPANNED FIVE DECADES. IN THAT TIME HE HAS BROUGHT TO LIFE A HUGE VARIETY OF COMPELLING, INTELLIGENT AND WONDERFULLY ENGAGING CHARACTERS ON THE BIG AND SMALL SCREEN. WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING HIM TO DUBAI.”

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COMMUNITY

EVENTS TO NOVEMBER 2 Abu Dhabi Film Festival Catch the last couple of days of this year’s festival, based at The Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Big names in attendance this year include Forest Whitaker, star of Last King of Scotland, who is receiving a Black Pearl Career Achievement Award. www.abudhabifilmfestival.ae

EVENT LATEST

SCI-FI COMP CONCLUDES

MEFCC/DIFF-sponsored competition winner is now in pre-production The summer of 2013 saw Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Attitude Enterprises and the Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) team up to launch a competition which gave budding filmmakers an opportunity to write a treatment or script based on an original idea within the sci-fi or superhero genre. The competition gained a fantastic response with over 40 entries and the winning script, Serenity Now is now in pre-production. The sci-fi concept written by Alastair Newton Brown (pictured), a resident of Dubai, was one of many shortlisted and sent to Hollywood screenwriter Max Landis, who then selected the winner. “Serenity Now is pretty slick” commented Landis. “I’ve been really impressed with the level of creativity.” The short film, being produced locally by Attitude, was inspired by a vivid memory of Brown’s university days where he encountered a futurist. “That idea revolves around the premise that in the future, man and machine would co-evolve in such a way that a new species would emerge. This new species would want absolute power over human beings explained Brown. With knowledge comes power, and so

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that’s the big commodity that all the parties in the story are after.”  “We’ve only just scratched the surface of the amazing talent in the region” commented Ben Caddy GM of ExtraCake, organisers of the MEFCC. “We’ve had lots of exciting success stories coming out of the MEFCC where Middle East based talent have already started to realise their potential. We hope this competition is another step in that direction for regional filmmakers and we’ll be entering the finished piece into numerous awards programs and festivals.” ORGANISER’S OPINION “The level of creativity in the entries to this competition just shows the talent bubbling under the surface in this region. We’re really pleased to work with partners like MEFCC to bring some of these ideas to life.” SHIVANI PANDYA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DIFF

NOVEMBER 15-16 Time lapse photography workshop Dubai’s Light House Studio presents a two-day time lapse photography workshop with timelapse photographer and Shukuma dolly designer / engineer, Joe Louw. The cost is 1,500 AED for the two days. www.lighthouse.ae

NOVEMBER 18-19 Big Entertainment Show The Big Entertainment Show at Dubai International Conference and Exhibition Centre is the region’s largest comprehensive entertainment content festival.  www.bigentertainment.ae

NOVEMBER 18-19 My Content Summit The My Content Summit will explore current trends, challenges and opportunities in the fields of TV production, Animation, Licensing, Mobile Content, IPTV, Content Acquisition and Infotainment and Edutainment. www.mycontent.ae

NOVEMBER 2013 / 49


COMMUNITY

SCENE CHANGE

MEDIACAST Richard Lackey has joined MediaCast as technical sales specialist, pro video. with him over 10 years of production and post production experience. His technical background is in the nuts and bolts of digital cinema cameras, acquisition, workflow and post, and with producer credits on many shorts and one feature film to his name, he also adds some film industry insight.

PEBBLE BEACH Pebble Beach Systems, has appointed Kurt Schini as VP of sales for Pebble Beach Broadcast Systems. Over a long career with industry players including Harmonic, EMC and Thomson Video Networks, where he held the director of sales position, Kurt has gained a deep understanding of the needs of stations and broadcast groups, and has strong connections to resellers.

ABS Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) has announced Jeff Baggett has joined the company as COO. Baggett had a 30-year career with Intel Corporation, where he served most recently as an operations manager. “At ABS, we want to exceed customer expectations, and that starts with having an infrastructure in place to deliver consistent results,” Baggett said.

DIFF Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has appointed critically acclaimed director, producer and writer Jim Sheridan as head of the jury for the Muhr Arab Feature Competition for the 10th edition of the Festival which runs from 6th – 14th December. The filmmaker has crafted a variety of films during his career which launched back in 1989 with My Left Foot.

The market leader in mass door-to-door ĚŝƐƚƌŝďƵƟŽŶĂŶĚĐŽŶƚƌŽůůĞĚďƵůŬĚŝƐƚƌŝďƵƟŽŶ of magazines within the UAE.

dĂŝůŽƌŵĂĚĞĚŝƐƚƌŝďƵƟŽŶƐŽůƵƟŽŶƐƚŽƐƵŝƚLJŽƵƌ requirements. ŝƐƚƌŝďƵƟŽŶϭϬϬйĐŽŶƚƌŽůůĞĚďLJůƵĞdƌƵĐŬ ĞŵƉůŽLJĞĞƐ;ŶŽĞdžƚĞƌŶĂůŵĂŶĂŐĞŵĞŶƚŽƌ distributors). ŽŵƉƌĞŚĞŶƐŝǀĞŝŶͲŚŽƵƐĞĂƵĚŝƚĂŶĚƌĞƉŽƌƟŶŐ ƐƚƌƵĐƚƵƌĞ͕ǁĞĂůƐŽǁĞůĐŽŵĞĞdžƚĞƌŶĂůĂƵĚŝƚƐĨƌŽŵ ƚŚĞĐŽŵƉĂŶLJŽĨLJŽƵƌĐŚŽŝĐĞ͘ ĨƵůůƐŽůƵƟŽŶƐƉĂĐŬĂŐĞ͕ŝŶĐůƵĚŝŶŐĞƐŝŐŶ͕ WŚŽƚŽŐƌĂƉŚLJ͕WƌŝŶƟŶŐΘŝƐƚƌŝďƵƟŽŶ͘

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THE WRAP

THE WRAP

A RUN DOWN OF THE LATEST UPGRADES AND INSTALLATIONS IN THE REGION

AL KASS INSTALLS AVID LOCATION DOHA TECHNOLOGY 10XAVID ISIS 7000 STORAGE, 1XISIS 2000, 8XAIRSPEED DNXHD 120 INGEST SERVERS, INTERPLAY CENTRAL, MEDIA COMPOSER 7, SYSTEM 5-MC MIXER CONTROL, PROTOOLS.

TSL LANDS IN INDIA LOCATION KERAL A TECHNOLOGY TSL TALLYM AN TM2 STUDIO CONTROL, MULTIPLE A MUT-2MHD AUDIO MONITORING UNITS.

NEW MBC CAIRO NEWSROOM LOCATION CAIRO TECHNOLOGY AVID NEWSVISION, VIZRT GRAPHICS, ROSS SWITCHER, TRILOGY BROADCAST COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM, STUDER ALLIN-ONE VISTA AUDIO MIXING CONSOLE

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Qatari Sports channel Al Kass has signed a multi-million dollar deal with Avid to improve the channel’s workflow. Samer Younes, technical advisor at Al Kass, commented: “Avid is proven and trusted in sports video production and our additional investment will give us considerable operational efficiencies. In addition, their openness to third party systems means we won’t have to worry about handling multiple file formats. We can concentrate on what we’re best at.”

Mathrubhumi TV, a new 24-hour television news channel in India, has installed TSL Products’ TallyMan TM2 studio control system and several AMUT-2MHD audio monitoring units to achieve maximum workflow efficiency across its production equipment chain. The TallyMan TM2 system sits at the heart of the network’s operational center (NOC) providing a seamless communication path between equipment, while the AMUT units comprehensively monitor embedded audio.

MGI has completed the install of MBC’s new Cairo newsroom, a state-of-the-art facility for the broadcaster’s Egyptian news production. Raed Bacho, Broadcast Manager, MBC Group says: “MGI’s reputation for delivering world-class broadcast solutions was a key factor in our decision to award the company the contract. Our Cairo News facility is a major investment and one that required careful planning. We were delighted by the efficiency and timely results.”

NOVEMBER 2013 / 51


THE WRAP

LOCATION PAKISTAN TECHNOLOGY HOST OF BL ACKM AGIC, INCLUDING: HYPER DECK, ATEM 2 M/E PRODUCTION SWITCHER, ATEM 1 M/E BROADCAST PANEL, DECKLINK.

RIEDEL FOR QTV LOCATION DOHA TECHNOLOGY RIEDEL ARTIST DIGITAL MATRIX INTERCOM, ACROBAT DIGITAL WIRELESS INTERCOM, PERFORMER DIGITAL PARTYLINE INTERCOM, AND RIFACE UNIVERSAL RADIO INTERFACE SYSTEMS

OB VAN FOR LEBANON LOCATION LEBANON TECHNOLOGY FULL SUITE OF GRASS VALLEY CA MERAS, PRO DUCTION SWITCHERS, ROUTING SWITCHERS, ROUTER CONTROL SYSTEMS AND REPL AY SYSTEMS

FOX TURKEY GOES HD LOCATION TURKEY TECHNOLOGY GRASS VALLEY TRINIX ROUTING SWITCHER; SAN-2 STORAGE; KAYAK PRODUCTION SWITCHER, AND K2 SUMMIT SERVERS. PANASONIC HC3500 CAMERAS

52 / NOVEMBER 2013

Pakistan’s Dunya TV has made a $250,000 upgrade to its MCR and PCR, with a heavy focus on equipment from Blackmagic. Dunya TV’s technical and operations director, Mohammed Sohail Noor, commented: “Blackmagic is charging low prices on broadcast equipment compared to other products. Moreover, they are providing multiple options in a single solution. The solution is comparable with other major brands. The equipment is easy to handle and does not take up too much.”

Riedel Communications has installed an extensive Riedel intercom system across Qatar TV (QTV)’s brand-new state-of-theart 5,000-square-meter broadcast facility. “The Riedel system enabled and even facilitated open voice communications between our different teams, ultimately resulting in more streamlined and efficient operation here at QTV,” said Mr. Abdulkarim Elsabbagh, head of operations at QTV. The Riedel joins a host of recent additions to the QTV Doha studios.

Grass Valley is to supply Lebanese production company Hedgehog with an endto-end workflow consisting of cameras, production switchers, routing switchers, router control systems and replay systems for Lebanon’s first HD OB van so that it can provide better quality HD coverage of live events, particularly sporting occasions. On the ground, Hedgehog will work closely with Grass Valley’s local partner in Lebanon, Pharaon Broadcast.

BTS has won the contract for the second HD upgrade phase of Fox Turkey. After completing the first HD upgrade of the playout center last year, FOX Turkey started to broadcast its HD channel through Digiturk, one of the largest pay TV platforms in Turkey. To increase Fox’s HD production capabilities for the HD channel BTS now will upgrade a large production studio and expand the tapeless HD production system. The whole installation will be finished in August 2013.

www.digitalproductionme.com


PRODUCTS

NEW TOY WE LIKE

Accepts 4K x 2K resolutions of 4096 x 2160 and 3840 x 2160 at up to 30 frames/second via its DisplayPort input then downscale them to its native resolution of 2560 x 1440

Ideal for post production work as well as video editing and is backed by a manufacturer’s 5-year warranty that covers all components including the LCD panel.

Eizo’s ColorEdge monitors are already popular among graphic designers looking for a higher end product than the standard PC World fare. With the new range-topping CG276, however, the company is hoping to break into the broadcast and production markets with an eye on colour graders, production houses and editing suites.

EIZO COLOREDGE CG276 Screen size: 27” Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (down scalable to 4k x 2k) Buy it because: Price point offers top end specifications at prosumer prices Inputs: 5 List price: $2,500

Built-in calibration sensor, patented brightness uniformity equalizer, and more. Can be correlated to the measurement results of an external calibration sensor, plus ColorNavigator software is provided

Sturdy stand provides 152mm of height adjustment, as well as tilting back and forth and spinning smoothly left and right

LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVES?

SHARP PNK-321 Screen size: 32” Resolution: 4k (3840 x 2160) Buy it because: Ideally suited to a wide range of professional applications Inputs: 5 List price? $4,000

www.digitalproductionme.com

SONY PVM-X300 Screen size: 30” Resolution: True 4k (4096 x 2160) Buy it because: True 4k resolution should last you well into the next decade Inputs: 10 List price? $17,500

DOLBY PRM-4200 Screen size: 42” Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Buy it because: 1,500 adjustable RGB LED triplets can colour-correct every single frame Inputs: 2 List price? $40,000

NOVEMBER 2013 / 53


PRODUCTS

MY BEST KIT

CUSTOM

IN THE BRAIN OF AN OCTOPUS BrainNews, Brainstorm’s template-based graphics solution for news, now supports Octopus Newsroom systems, the leading newsroom computer systems for broadcast television. BrainNews is a fully scalable, MOS-compatible, template-based system that integrates graphics into News environments, allowing journalists and producers to customize and combine high-quality pre-defined 3D graphics within their news workflow without the constant input from the graphics department.

The integration into Octopus Newsroom Systems allows Octopus’ clients to seamlessly run BrainNews into their existing workflow. www.brainstorm.es

CONSOLES EDIT ONE DESK

LIBEC SPREADS THE LOAD

“The EditOne desk is brilliant. It is highly robust, the ergonomics are excellent and the styling blends in well with a modern broadcast operations environment. Our EditOne desk is config-

Libec has announced its new LX10 series, 100mm ball, affordable tripod system for both ENG and studio. As a successor of the LS-60/-70 systems, the LX10 has outstanding rigidity and 16kg payload and is the ideal tripod system for TV stations for both ENG and studio applications. Used with a newly designed tripod leg, RT50B, the maximum height of the LX10 system with floor spreader is 173.5cm, which is 13cm higher than the previous LS series tripods. The LX10 Studio pictured is the system equipped with dolly and dual extendable panhandle. www.libec-global.com

ured for simultaneous use by two operators. It accommodates an SDI patching matrix, monitor displays, live broadcast encoders, an Apple post-production system running Final Cut Pro with live editing facilities, hard disk drives and main-

GLIDE LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE X-20 The Glidecam X-20 camera stabilization system is designed for film and video cameras weighing from 10 to 20 pounds.  It incorporates advanced engineering and precision machining, making it the most sophisticated and versatile system in its price range. The system allows you to walk, run, go up and down stairs, shoot from moving vehicles and travel over uneven terrain without any camera instability or shake. 

The complete X-20 system is comprised of a Support Arm, a Support Vest and a Support Sled. It works by isolating your body’s motion from your camera, while your camera is balanced in a relatively motionless and isolated state. The Support Arm can be boomed up and down, as well as pivoted in and out, and side-to-side.  www.glidecam.com

plus-redundant power supplies. The equipment is installed in the rear-access bay below the main work surface and in the auxiliary pedestal.” SIMON HAYWOOD, DIRECTOR AND COFOUNDER, JACKSHOOT

54 / NOVEMBER 2013

THE MATRIX: RELOADED Solid State Logic’s latest Matrix console boasts a host of new features. Hardware device inserts can now be loaded directly from the console hardware controls. The Matrix remote browser software has been redesigned to provide a new ‘drag and drop’ style interface for loading processors and building chains. A powerful ‘Fader Linking’ system has been added to the console which allows two or more faders to be grouped, to facilitate stereo or 5.1 channel control or subgroup style mixing. A-FADA enables channel automation can be performed entirely in the analogue signal path but with the advantages of DAW automation data editing. The addition of A-FADA to Matrix2 facilitates project portability between various different SSL products. www.solidstatelogic.com

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PRODUCTS

THALES ANGÉNIEUX UNVEILS NEW OPTIMO

Thales Angenieux has launched its new DP 25-250mm zoom lens. The lens is optimized for digital sensors and offers outstanding quality and performance. It is ideal for budget productions: features, TV series, docs and commercials. “Our goal was to create a very versatile, precise, and easy to use lens at the best price.” said Angenieux’s Dominique Rouchon. www.angenieux.com

Digitally Fit.

MANFROTTO MAKES LIFE SYMPLA Sympla is a professional modular video rig system that extends and complements new cameras, allows for stable support and framing, supports essential accessories and offers versatility, high performance, comfort, safety and much simpler and faster set up than existing rigs. Sympla is also built for flexibility and speed, so you can change anything and everything easily and quickly: www.manfrotto.com

NILA ZAILA LIGHTS THE WAY United Broadcast & Media Solutions has taken delivery of the newest offering from Nila Inc, the ultra-compact Zaila LED Fixture. The Zaila is ideal for lighting professionals who are looking for a portable and compact LED fixture that can meet today’s highlydemanding lighting challenges. This economically-priced Zaila produces an outstanding amount of light in a very small form factor all the while offering features found in higher-end Nila products such as on-board, DMX controllable dimming; holographic lenses AC/DC input, barn doors and an extremely robust design. This amazing fixture provides the light output of a 200w HMI while only drawing 45w. It also features a choice of 6 quick-change holographic lenses providing the widest range of beams from 10 degrees to 80 plus degrees, 4 hard gels, 10 to 18 volt DC power inputs, external AC universal power supply and drop-in rotating barn doors all in a 5” x 5” x 5” housing and weighing less than 5 lbs. (2.2Kg).! Moreover, if the scene requires a softer light, this fixture includes built-in mounts for a standard, extra-small Chimera soft box. For greater portability, the optional yoke-mountable battery plate is offered in two versions to accommodate either a Gold or V-mount camera battery for 3-5+ hours of continuous light output. The Zaila’s firmware allows for flicker-free operation at any dim level between 0-1500 fps and the ability to shoot flicker-free at any speed. Peter Kyriakos, Head of Marketing of UBMS said “What’s always amazing to see is how manufacturers always raise the bar with their technology and thus provide customers with new, innovative and efficient solutions that cater to the daily requirements of a vast audience. The Zaila is testament to this notion, because it encompasses features that are usually only available in larger and more expensive packages, but instead found in a cost effective and compact solution”.

www.canare.co.jp

www.nila.tv

www.digitalproductionme.com

NOVEMBER 2013 / 55


5 MINUTES WITH...

delivering a movie that works with or without it.

0:00 WHAT FIRST INSPIRED YOU TO WORK IN THE TV AND FILM INDUSTRY?

Actually I was looking forward to a career that increases my communication skills and also connecting people by different means that media and broadcasting equipment signals transfer in a short time. In fact all the scenes that we transmit to viewers are playing an important role in their life, great that you integrate broadcast system to teach children, gather news to give peace of mind to someone leaving abroad from his homeland, shoot great minuets in people life that will be their memories, to Increases feelings of belonging to homeland by broadcasting different live sports games. 1:00 3D – FAD OR FUTURE?

Our physical environment is three-dimensional and we move around in 3D every day. 3D video adds stereoscopic vision, meaning that two separate images are shown simultaneously—one to each eye. This presents enormous technical problems which is why there is still no perfect system almost 100 years since the first 3D movie was made.

2:00 WHAT ONE PIECE OF KIT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?

I can answer your question without thinking a lot, sure my Laptop. 3:00 YOU’RE MAROONED ON A DESERT ISLAND, BUT HAD CHANCE TO PICK UP YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE, AND A BOX SET OF YOUR FAVOURITE TV SHOW FIRST. WHAT’S ON YOUR HASTILY ASSEMBLED PALM TREE SHELF, AND WHY?

5:00 MINUTES WITH...

MOMEN NABIL, PRODUCT SALES DEVELOPER, SYSTEC INTERNATIONAL INC

I think that TV & film future will be mostly to improve image quality even by 2D or 3D . So the 3D movies should keep coming for a while, but how much of a future does the technology have? New Challenge for Filmmakers: Adding Dimension to 3-D Movies. This has been a big sticking point with a lot of 3D movies: Moving beyond the initial gimmick of the technology and

56 / NOVEMBER 2013

My movie of choice would be Last Samurai as I am Japanese Language speaker and most of my life I am trying to challenge and achieve targets , and this film give me more energy and sprit to pass all my hard times . 4:00 WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT FIVE YEARS TAKING US IN THE REGION?

I think next five years will be watershed for all media production and broadcasting industry in Dubai after establishing Media City which give a unique chance to investors to start Media business in private and Varity TV channels. 5:00 FINALLY, DIGITAL STUDIO’S READERS SHOULD USE MY COMPANY BECAUSE…?

Systec International, with its long history in Middle East from 1993 , is providing made in Japan professional camera needs and Broadcasting equipment which were designed to make Cameraman job easy while implementing directors aims for better image quality.

www.digitalproductionme.com


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digital studio |Nov.2013